Occupation of Alcatraz Discussion and Responses
What happens in the chapter “US Triumphalism and Peacetime Colonialism” is that the author is discussing the US government and its force. He talks about its how military is extending its force to other countries like Philippines in order to show their power and let them know that they shouldn’t go against US. Also, once again there’s a talk about poor treatment to Native Americans and threat of taking their land away from them. However, a good chunk of land was actually returned to them and a right to sue the federal government.
This is a good change in information as so far, we only saw losses for Native American side. “My father was an Indian chief, and we used to own everything there. When the land was allotted, they allotted him only ten acres, a little farm of land which is mostly gravel and rock, with little scrubby trees and redwood.…” (Dunbar-Ortiz, page 164) This quote stand out to me because it shows the cruel change in lives of people who were just living their life without harm to others until newcomers came in and took everything. Also, it’s like a summary of everything we’ve learned about. Dunbar-Ortiz referring to the Native American’s resistance with the “Ghost Dance Prophecy.” He talks about everything they could’ve done to hold their ground against Americans. In no way, shape or form were the Native Americans tried to be part of the Americans.
They wanted their culture and lifestyle back. The Ghost Dance, “promised to restore the Indigenous world as it was before colonialism, making the invaders disappear and the buffalo return.” (Dunbar-Ortiz, page 151) Like Occupation of Alcatraz, Native Americans were doing everything they can to save their culture as they felt as it was being taken away from them. So, to resist the Americans they decided to take over the island of Alcatraz. According to Prof. Mayfield’s lecture the tribal termination policies entail that Natives would get rid of tribes and wouldn’t be seen as sovereign nations no longer. For that reason, people of these tribes were sent to boarding schools in order to learn the values and language in order to become part of the Americans. The relocation policies entail sending young men to work in cities to gain knowledge on how to live as an American as well as to gain the culture. All of this was done in order to give Native Americans an idea for a better life and make them part of the American society so they can buy a home and build future families. According to the readings and Prof.
Mayfield’s lecture, the American Indian Civil Rights movement emerge during their military service in World War 2. This was done to show their appreciation for their help in the war. As of this, US decided to give American Indians the privilege of being able to sue the federal government, trade with Americans, and were given 2 million acres back. Also, African Americans and women were given citizenships.
The Indian Civil Rights movement fully emerged during the Occupancy of Alcatraz. The goals and significance of the Occupation of Alcatraz was to stand up against the federal government in order to gain rights and terminate policies that were put against every non-American. The scene that stood out to me was when the Indians were swimming out to Alcatraz. It showed power and will to fight for their rights, culture and lifestyle. None of these people wanted to give in into American culture and their lifestyle. Their point was shown and proved through their doings. Alcatraz Proclamation was done in order to remind Americans about the horrible treatment towards Native Americans and their land.
This article has a sarcastic tone, somewhat patronizing due to how it is written. “We feel that this so-called Alcatraz Island is more than suitable as an Indian Reservation, as determined by the white man’s own standards.” The word choice here is pretty strong, talking about white man. The sarcasm comes from the idea of it being perfectly suitable for an Indian Reservation while being nothing close to it. The intended audience here are the US government of course and the purpose is to show American citizens how poorly Native Americans have been treated this whole time. The historical allusion comes from the “We will purchase said Alcatraz Island for 24 dollars in glass beads and red cloth, a precedent set by the white man’s purchase of a similar island about 300 years ago.” Making a comparison to the awfully poor offer that was given to them 300 years ago.